Match Details: 07/02/2017
Luton Town 5-2 Yeovil Town
Checkatrade Trophy Quarter-Final
Yeovil Goals: Francois Zoko (58), Omar Sowunmi (65)
Yeovil Line-Up: 3. Nathan Smith, 4. Matthew Dolan, 5. Bevis Mugabi, 7. Kevin Dawson, 9. Tom Eaves, 11. Ryan Dickson, 12. Jonny Maddison, 13. Francois Zoko, 16. Matt Butcher, 28. Ben Whitfield, 39. Shayon Harrison
Subs: 1. Artur Krysiak, 17. Omar Sowunmi, 19. Brandon Goodship, 32. Tom James,
Substitutes Used: Omar Sowunmi for Tom Eaves (53 mins), Tom James for Ryan Dickson (79 mins), Brandon Goodship for Ben Whitfield (81 mins)
Bookings: Kevin Dawson (Foul, 30), Omar Sowunmi (Foul, 86)
Yeovil Town exited the EFL Trophy at the Quarter-Final stages this evening, after a second half goalfest at Kenilworth Road saw Luton Town gain a comfortable 5-2 victory. With former Glovers loanee Jordan Cook providing the only successful strike of the first half, the game exploded just after the brea with five goals in 15 minutes. Alan Sheehan's free kick gave Luton a two goal advantage before Francois Zoko converted his 8th of the season. Almost immediately Isaac Vassell restored Luton's two goal advantage, only for Omar Sowunmi's header to pull a goal back again. But Danny Hylton netted Luton's fourth straight from the kick-off play, and Vassell got his second deep into injury time to give the Hatters a deserved semi-final place.
The Glovers went into the match making four changes to their starting line-up from Saturday's game. As usual Artur Krysiak and Jonny Maddison swapped over, whilst Darren Ward was rested, with Matt Butcher moving into his position, whilst Kevin Dawson came in as a midfielder. Bevis Mugabi replaced the suspended Liam Shephard. Up front Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro was cup-tied so in came Shayon Harrison. Luton, who have been making plenty of changes to their side in this competition chose to make five from their Saturday line-up.
Luton took the initiative right from the start of the match, with Jonny Maddison making a near post block from a Jonathan Smith shot, quickly followed by Pelly Ruddock's shot being saved. But it was not too surprising when the home team grabbed a 12th minute lead. Yeovil Town have plenty of obscure loanees littered in each season's statistics - Jordan Cook - a former Charlton Athletic loanee whose contribution to the Glovers lasted just 29 minutes during the 2012-13 season - showed he's a much improved player by taking a ricochet on the edge of the box, and firing home from 20 yards out, low into the bottom corner.
It took around 20-25 minutes for Yeovil to get into the match, with Matt Dolan and Shayon Harrison providing their main outlets. A Dolan long ranger deflected off for a corner, followed by Harrison's low drive being pushed away by Luton keeper Matt Macey. As play levelled itself out from the early Luton dominance, another Dolan effort went just wide of the target after Bevis Mugabi and Harrison had built up play via the right flank. Given the early pattern of play, to go in at 1-0 and with visiting play improving wasn't too bad. Luton still looked dangerous though - Jonathan Smith's crashing shot off the crossbar in the lead-up to half time was strong evidence of that.
Five minutes after the break, the goal glut began, sparked by Luton doubling their lead. Matt Butcher gave away a free kick on the edge of the box for a foul on Isaac Vassell, and up stepped Alan Sheehan, who scored direct from the set piece to put Luton firmly in command at 2-0. Or so they thought.
Shayon Harrison was fouled by Glen Rea, and as with Luton's second goal, punishment for the offence was immediately handed out. Omar Sowunmi had come on as a substitute for Tom Eaves, and it took him five minutes to have an effect on the game, as Matt Dolan's free kick was flicked on by the big man, and into the path of Francois Zoko who scored his eighth goal of the 2016-17 season, and to put himself out in front as the club's leading goalscorer. 2-1 and game on.
Unfortunately for Yeovil, their hopes of getting back into the match lasted just 90 seconds. Jack Senior's throw-in landed at the feet of Isaac Vassell, and sensing that the Yeovil defence had gone to sleep, he decided to run at them, weaving his way past before firing off a shot from the left side of the penalty box for a 3-1 lead.
Back came Yeovil again. Kevin Dawson got himself into a wide position and put a cross into the box just five minutes after Vassell's goal, and he found the head of Omar Sowunmi, rising well to pull the score back to 3-2. Surely now, it was game on? Nope! If Luton's previous restoration of their two goal lead had been quick before, this time it was ridiculous, as they scored straight from the restart, fashioning a move that saw full-back Stephen O'Donnell pull back a ball to Danny Hylton who fired home for a 4-2 lead.
Luton threatened to turn the game into a route, with Jonny Maddison's goal being exposed on a number of occasions. A Pelly Ruddock shot was turned over the crossbar by the keeper, before he had to do the same with a Danny Hylton header. Ten minutes later, Maddison made a double save from the same two players as Yeovil's defence creaked, not helped by an injury to Ryan Dickson that meant Tom James came on for his debut.
During six, largely irrelevant, minutes of injury time, Luton got their fifth of the evening. A low ball into the box from Pelly Ruddock was swept home by Isaac Vassell for the 5-2 win, and to ensure Yeovil's exit from the EFL Trophy was an emphatic one. That now gives the club a clear seventeen games left of the 2016-17 season - their 15th placed position almost certainly means they will neither be going up, nor down although with a nine point gap between themselves and 7th a bit of a gamble wouldn't go amiss to keep the season interesting in the closing stages. They'll need to defend a little better than they did tonight though.
Final Score: Luton Town 5 Yeovil Town 2.
Scorers: Jordan Cook (1-0, 12 mins), Alan Sheehan (2-0, 50 mins), Francois Zoko (2-1, 58 mins), Isaac Vassell (3-1, 60 mins), Omar Sowunmi (3-2, 65 mins), Danny Hylton (4-2, 66 mins), Isaac Vassell (5-2, 90 mins)
13. Matt Macey
2. Stephen O'Donnell 5. Johnny Mullins 44. Alan Sheehan (Capt) 21. Jack Senior
16. Glen Rea
4. Jonathan Smith 17. Pelly Ruddock 10. Jordan Cook
20. Isaac Vassell 9. Danny Hylton
6. Scott Cuthbert (63 mins for Jordan Cook) 7. Jake Gray 14. Jack Marriott (90 mins for Isaac Vassell) 19. Olly Lee 22. Luke Gambin 31. Craig King 36. James Justin (90 mins for Danny Hylton)
12. Jonny Maddison
5. Bevis Mugabi 16. Matt Butcher 3. Nathan Smith 11. Ryan Dickson (Capt)
28. Ben Whitfield 7. Kevin Dawson 4. Matt Dolan
13. Francois Zoko 9. Tom Eaves 39. Shayon Harrison
Substitutes: 1. Artur Krysiak 17. Omar Sowunmi (53 mins for Tom Eaves) 19. Brandon Goodship (81 mins for Ben Whitfield) 32. Tom James (79 mins for Ryan Dickson)
Luton Town Bookings: Glen Rea (foul, 58 mins), Jack Senior (foul, 67 mins)
Yeovil Bookings: Kevin Dawson (foul, 30 mins), Omar Sowunmi (foul, 86 mins)
Luton Town Match Statistics: Possession: 53%; Shots: 17; Shots On Target: 13; Corners: 5; Fouls: 15.
Yeovil Match Statistics: Possession: 47%; Shots: 10; Shots On Target: 5; Corners: 3; Fouls: 14.
Referee: Ben Toner (Lancashire). Assistants: Marc Wilson (Cambridgeshire) and Christopher Husband (Worcestershire). Fourth Official: Gavin Ward (Surrey).
Attendance: 2,480 (with 88 Yeovil supporters).